WARREN - The Order of American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association Zeus Chapter 88 honored state officials and installed new members at a recent gathering of its members.
The association is listed as the largest and oldest American-based Greek heritage grassroots membership organization.
Carl Hollister, Buckeye District II governor, who has worked with many state representatives and is in charge of 26 chapters in Ohio and parts of Kentucky and West Virginia, was among the special guests and speakers who attended.
He said as a district the members have awarded $150,000 in scholarships, assisted with HUD for low-income housing for seniors citizens, assisted with cancer research, helped refurbish many aspects of the state house, worked with The Ohio State University and the John Glenn Institute for Public Policy and are in the process of endowing a graduate level scholarship.
Gus Polychronis, president of Zeus Chapter 88, said most of the chapters in the district attended for an initiation for six new members.
"This is once-in-a-lifetime situation. We have people here from Pittsburgh, Columbus, West Virginia, Cincinnati and other places,'' he said.
AHEPA was founded in July 1922 to fight bigotry against Greeks and to help immigrants assimilate into society, according to the organization.
Members said an important component of AHEPA's mission - philanthropy, education, civic responsibility and family and individual excellence - is to create an awareness of the principles of Hellenism. The principles include a commitment to humanity, freedom and democracy.
Through its charitable foundation, more than $4 million is endowed at the local, district and national levels toward the use of scholarships and a half-million dollars is awarded annually.
The AHEPA Zeus Chapter 88 in Warren was founded in 1926 with Themistocles Chimbithes serving as the first president.
The AHEPA family grew, forming a Daughters of Penelope Chapter Hera 31, Sons Chapter (Spartan Chapter 33) and Maids Chapter (Diana 116).
As Zeus 88 grew in members meeting place was purchased on Youngstown Road. The club has grown to more than 200 members.
Polychronis said the chapter is active in the community with charitable and philanthropic causes including the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Veterans Affairs. AHEPA members also are involved with the St. Demetrios Church.
Scholarship programs have sent donations to Ellis Island Statue of Liberty, Greek Earthquake relief and 911 New York Relief Fund.
Current officers are Polychronis, president; George Keriotis, vice president; Gene Callow, secretary; Bill Angelis, secretary; George Cassudakis, treasurer; and Michael Kontos and Gust Papadakis, chairman of the board.